The ideal source of nutrition for infants is the breast milk. Breastfeeding can save babies from the risk of having asthma or allergies, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea etc. Infants who are breastfed for the first six months are healthier and have 9great immunity power as compared to kids who are not breastfed. Breast milk contains disease-fighting substances that save your kid from illness.
Researchers from Brown University in the US found breast milk can also save infants from stress as breastfeeding activity initiates a change in the gene activity of the infants. This change makes infants less reactive to stress and saving babies from stress.
The research team analyzed more than 40, healthy kids and their mothers, one-half of whom breastfed for the first five months and one-half of whom did not. With the use of mother-infant interaction procedure, the team measured the cortisol stress reactivity in a baby’s saliva.
Instead of this, the team also measured a change in the activity of the DNA segment (DNA methylation) of an important regulatory region of the glucocorticoid receptor gene. This region regulating the process of development, metabolism, and immune response in babies.
The results of the research are published in the journal Pediatrics that defines breastfeeding causes genetic changes that help babies in controlling stress levels.
Barry M Lester, Researcher from Brown University shared that the maternal love and care induces the change in the activity of a gene in the babies that controls the infant’s physiological response to stress, specifically the release of the hormone cortisol.
Lester also shared that breastfeeding is an important activity for infant’s growth and associated with decreased DNA methylation and decreased cortisol reactivity. Simply, it can cause an epigenetic change in the babies who were breastfed, resulting in reduced stress than those who were not breastfed.